World

Bucket list to win!

I’ve a big promoter of bucket lists. Since I started writing down the things I have wanted to do – from vague ideas to planned events – I have experienced more than I ever thought I would.

In fact, I love bucket lists so much I was even interviewed about them.

So when Transun is offering a chance to see the Northern Lights by choosing your top three travel destinations, I had to jump at the chance, even if it means choosing only three.

I’ve been lucky enough to live in a country where you can see the northern lights. Especially up North. But I have yet to photograph them. And that is definitely on my bucket list.

Here are my top three travel destinations:

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Hiking Log - Seek

Why Keep a Hiking Log – Free Printable

Who would Lewis and Clark, or Marco Polo, or Ferdinand Magellan be without record keeping. Their discoveries and accomplishments would be lost over time (even though Magellan had someone write for him).

If you like to dream of yourself of as an explorer of the world, like myself, then keeping a log means more than a report. It is a chance to be creative while recording your nature outings. In some cases, like the Bruce Trail, in order to receive badges for end-to-end hikes you must send in your hiking logs.

This summer I have some big plans, including big hiking trips and small geocaching trips, so I don’t want to forget any details. That’s why I’ve started a hiking log. It helps me keep track of the important information, like starting/end points, duration, and observances.

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Explore the Elements

#ExploretheElements

You dont have to tell me twice about entering a photo contest. I love the excuse to peruse old photos and relive favourites. Thankfully, there are some great contests out there, like Explore the Elements contest by Thomas Cook.

To enter is simple, publish four photographs, one for each of the elements – earth, air, fire, and water – then nominate five other bloggers to do the same.

Earth

“Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness , physicality and gravity”

It is hard to explain the Rockies to someone. “A mountain range” doesn’t cut it, nor does “A park in the mountains”. The Rockies is a quintessential Canadian symbol of hardship, exploration, and conservation. From the very first National Park, to the daring modern adventures, Jasper and Banff National Parks are the perfect way to celebrate the meaning of Earth.

Air

“Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom”

There is a reason they say that there is always a breeze on the Prairies; there is something magical about the wide open sky. The Canadian Prairies are probably one of my favourite parts of this country, the crazy weather, the beautiful night skies, and thousands of kilometres for that breeze to whisper through.

Fire

“Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit”

Fire represents more than just an elements. Its about passion and spirit. These horses on the crest of a hill embodies the spirit of Montana. Hard work, ranch life, and big sky country are written in this photo.

Water

“Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism”

The island of Paros in Greece left me breathless. I took this one of my travel buddy Elizabeth while relaxing at the end of our trip. The endless water of an infinity pool and the Mediterranean Sea give a surreal feel.

Now I get to nominate others. Here are five bloggers (and great photographers) that I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with in the past.

Go forth nominees and spread creativity to the world with your great photos (I mean you could win a laptop, a smartphone, a new camera, or a £5,000 travel fund)

Stay Curious,

Olivia

Christmas by Candlelight

A German Christmas

The Christkindl Market in Kitchener is the largest of it’s kind outside of Germany. This is the 18th Annual Christkindl Market in Kitchener, while the Christmas Market itself dates back to 1310!

There was skating, German food, Crafts, and Vendors, where you could by the famous Christmas Pickle. There was a candlelight procession to the tree lighting ceremony where Christkindl himself and the Angels spoke in German to open the Market. They opened the ceremony with the Prologue, a poem spoken in Germans between the Angels. The tree was then lit, and the Market declared open.

It is so amazing going to events like this, even they are so close to home. It makes this part of the year, my favourite part, so special.

I found a translated poem, which I have included below:

You men and women, who once yourselves were children,
You little ones, life’s journey just beginning,
Each and all, who troubled tomorrow, are full of cheer today,
Pray listen to what Christkind has come to say!

Every year, four weeks before the time,
To decorate the Christmas tree, to celebrate the season,
Appears upon this square, your forebears knew it too,
What you here see, called Christkindlesmarkt by you,

This little town within the town, of wood and cloth made,
Whose short-lived splendor so fleeting seems to be,
And yet it is eternal. My market shall forever young remain.
As long as Nuremberg stands, and the memory of that market’s fame.

For Nuremberg is both old and young at once,
The many features of its countenance beyond all count.
Here this noble square. But now adjoining it,
The tall buildings of today, the factories of the modern world
The new city of so much green. And yet, you men and women true
It will remain forever the Nuremberg that is you.

Now as the old year ends there comes the day,
When wishes can be made and presents given,
When the market shines forth far and wide,
With decorations, and crystal balls, and blessed Christmastime
This you may not forget, you men and women, heed my word,
He who has all needs nothing more,
There are the children of this world and poor,
Who know the best what giving’s for.

You men and women, who once yourselves were children,
Be them again today, happy as children be,
And now the Christkind to its market calls,
And all who come are truly welcome.

Remembrance Day

Lest we Forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– John McCrae (1915)

My 10 favorite things about Fall

Fall is without a doubt the best season. I can work through my brain fog of allergies to enjoy the gorgeous and breathtaking wonders of fall.

This fall, I have had the privilege of spending it on both sides of the country. Ontario still is #1 when it comes to the amazing colours.

Here is a list of my favourite things about Fall and a few pictures too look at along the way.

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My Old West Road Trip

Writer’s Note: This post is WAY after the fact. Why? Well, my family gave me a wonderful welcome home present: a wicked cold. After I recovered from the remnants of a horrible weekend spent bedridden while the beautiful sunshine and fall breeze beckoned from outside, I started work and I have been elbow deep working. So, here, almost two months later, is my trip!  

I recently accepted a job that brings me back to Ontario. I used the opportunity of driving back home to cross off a few things from my bucket list. I was so excited to share this trip with my amazing mother. We planned it to be a four-day, three-night road trip through Southern Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan until finally hitting home in Ontario. But plans change.

The 4,788 km trip took us up and down mountains through the Great Plains and finally to the populated central states. We went through UNESCO World Heritage sites and National Forests. My mom and I were astounded by the amazing vistas we saw along the way.

I name this the Old West Roadtrip because of the amazing beauty of the American West and once we got onto the Interstate, there wasn’t much else to see or take pictures of.

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Vermillion Lakes and wetlands had the best fall colours!

Top 10 spots on my Jasper to Banff roadtrip

There’s no comparing the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. I almost wish my car was see-through so that you could really take in the beauty of the surroundings of Jasper and Banff National Parks. I have been to Jasper a number of times and to Banff once before, but I told myself that I wanted to see the mountains again.

Taking the trip solo is not an easy task. The trip from Jasper to Banff alone can be anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, and Jasper is 3 hours from where I live in Whitecourt. Add in the construction traffic and some longer stops and I got a 12-hour drive on day one and a 13-hour drive on day two. It was completely worth it.

Instead of going through all the amazing things I did on the trip, I give you my top 10 spots on my Jasper to Banff roadtrip.

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The elusive deer

I’ve been waiting to capture a good picture of some wildlife while I’ve been here. I have seen deer multiple times around town and a few times outside of town, but I have never gotten a good close shot of the majestic beast.

They have been either too far away, not facing me, they run away as soon as they see me, but not this one.

He scared me half to death when I stepped out of my house. He was right there. and although he bolted when he heard the door open, he stayed in my neighbour’s yard.

He’s not in his natural habitat, but isn’t he cute.

Stay Curious,

Olivia